Author: Catherine Garcia
Values & Ethic For Leader And The Organization
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Values & Ethics for the Leader and the Organization
" There's a misconception that ethics is something we only have in
heart, that we learn from our parents or from our church, and that
don't need to concern themselves with it, " says Majorie Kelly,
Editor of Business Ethics magazine.
"We are very aggressive as a business culture at creating
that encourage the kind of behavior that we want, but we have not
with ethics. In fact, business have done quite the opposite by
aggressive growth and sales goals and then sending the message that
better hit the mark no matter what, " she adds. In such a precarious
environment, falling short is not tolerated. "That's a set-up for
behavior," Kelly explains.
Despite the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002, which sets a standard for
corporate accountability and penalties for wrongdoing in response to
increasing number of corporate and accounting scandals, some experts
believe that the responsibility for maintaining an ethical
environment is up to
management. "Business ethics is never going to be successfully
There are bad people who are always going to want to do bad things."
Martin Taylor., Vice President of Organizational Services for the
for Global Ethics.
On a Local, National, Regional or Global front, ethical standards
seen as increasingly important, whether the situation involves
corruption, executive pay, treatment of employees or suppliers,
rights, intellectual property, or misappropriation of funds.
Global corporations has been shredded by the scandal of unethical
Doing business in today's global market place places new demands on
companies, their employees, governments, the financials community,
regulators assessing corporate performance and communicators. There
now greater pressure for regulators to act on corporate malpractice.
In his book, The 6 principles of managing with Integrity (Spiro
Kaptein outlines the multitude of "ethical dilemmas that confront
executives and their communicators. When does keeping silent
lying? When does an intimate relationship become intimidation? When
the private use of company property constitute theft? How does one
balance between generating profits and jobs, between sales and
between self-interest and organizational interest, and between
In Kapteins view, how managers and communicators resolve such
determine their personal integrity, as well as that of the
Martin Taylor, Vice President of Organizational
Services for the Institute for
Global Ethics says that you can set a standard for good behavior. He
the following advice on creating a climate of integrity:
Set an example through strong leadership. "Ethics programs are
generally aimed at employees when it's management who are the
ones in trouble." Says Taylor. Employees expect supervisors and
managers to set an example.
Set Realistic goals. "Set your goals in conjunction with your team
members, urges Kelly. Don't sit in your office with a calculator
and a spreadsheet and think about what's going to make your
stakeholders happy. Get down in the field with the people who are
talking to the customers and find out what goals are realistic."
Provide Training. 71% of those polled believed serious
commitment by management to address ethical issues would help
with the problem.
Distinguish between compliance and ethics. "You can pass all the
laws, all the reforms, all the structural changes, but when it comes
right down to it," offers Marianne Jennings, Professor of Legal and
Ethical studies at the college of Business of Arizona State
University, "ethics is about being forthright even when the law
allows you to be less than forthright."
Credibility and competition can go hand in hand without compromising
ethics. Conditions that lend themselves in the workplace to allow an
employee to display a competitive spirit are varied.
A competitive spirit is likely to be displayed when an individual in
workplace perceives their leadership to have high credibility.
When an individual in the workplace perceives their leaders as
credible, they are significantly more willing to increase their
they perceive their leaders as knowledgeable and having character.
other hand, when individuals in the workplace perceive their
have low credibility, they are more likely to believe that
incompetent and lacks the character necessary to fulfill their
Low credibility contributes to a sense among workers that leadership
quite telling the truth, and leadership is motivated more by greed
genuine commitment to workers, and even customers.
Without a strong culture to guide them in the decision making
workers will often initiate ways to devise solutions, which may be
capriciously discarded at a later point in time. In this way, shared
affect worker effort. Workers are cognizant of what leaders and
in the organization value those are the actions
that gain the preponderance of
Actions stressed by leadership will become organizational values.
if the stated or published values are not practiced by leadership,
perceive an inconsistency between what is stated and what is
inconsistency is likely to effect workers competitive spirit.
Leaders lead by example, where they spend the majority of their time
true indicator of their values. Leaders publish their values and
committed to those values. Their actions should be consistent with
published values. Perceived inconsistencies by workers will be
in many cases will be magnified out of proportion. In creating
leadership is expected to honor those values in all situations (Dean
Kennedy, 1982, p.33).
One of the most difficult situations for workers is to decide what
is the right
decision, the right thing to do when faced with making ethical
Organizational leadership may articulate that decision should be
made on the
basis of the greatest good for the greatest number, respecting and
the basic rights of individuals, and to impose and enforce rules
However, in reality, leadership expects workers to withhold
report actions they perceive to be unethical or illegal practices,
outsiders when workers perceive situations they judge to be
often enter into a stage of ethical ambivalence.
Consensus and clarity has long been suggested as a key ingredient
organization success. However, mission clarity, like decision making
organization is more of a desired state than a reality state.
and clarity are indeed a desirable state. Most often in reality most
are often confused regarding the organizational mission and
their competitive spirit. This makes it difficult for workers to
excitement and make a commitment to the organization.
Absence of mission consensus and clarity forecasts a situation where
workers are often forced to choose behaviors that are in their self
For example, Grover (1991) suggests that workers may even deceive
to achieve personal power and control. Although workers may achieve
success in gaining more power and control, we suggest that his or
success will not produce a competitive spirit outcome within the
In the book, Jesus, CEO by Laurie Beth Jones, she writes that Jesus
with a "Mission." Jesus knew his mission statement, and he did not
from it. He declared that his mission was, in essence, to teach
people about a
better way of life. He saw himself as a teacher and a healer.
The story goes that when Jesus was in the wilderness he was given
"business opportunities" that did not relate to his mission.
Each of these opportunities was related to talents that Jesus had,
and used, in
some form or another during his tenure. But, he resisted them
did not fit his mission statement.
Leaders must be able to rise above controversies, jealousies, petty
attacks, and ego slights, real or imagined, in order to accomplish
It is easy to look at people occupying powerful seats and forget the
attacks, vilifications, insults, and opposition they endured in
order to attain
their powerful status. Influence doesn't come easily.
Jesus rose above it all by keeping a heavenly perspective. To be "in
world, but not of it" means rising above it all.
Jesus walked up to the Fishermen and said, "Follow me, and I will
fishers of men." They dropped their nets and followed him. He met a
at a well and said, "follow me and you will never be thirsty again."
dropped her bucket and ran to get all of her friends.
History repeatedly has shown that people hunger for something larger
themselves. Leaders who offer that will have no shortage of
fact, higher purpose is such a vital ingredient to the human psyche
scripture say "where there is no vision, the people perish."
Studies show that people will work harder and longer on projects
understand the overall significance of their individual
The Study most often quoted is that of airplane workers who were
into two groups. Members of one group simply did what they were told
do, while the other group's members were taken to the engineering
shown how their particular pieces were part of a magnificent jet
fly higher and faster than any jet had ever flown before. Without
additional incentive, the second group's productivity soared. They
how important their contribution was to a larger plan.
Jesus is an amazing model of staying committed to his mission. He
and consistently conveyed to his staff the significance of what they
doing. He spoke long and often about the calling and they could feel
the long lasting benefits of their work with him. They were changing
people's lives for the good. They were working for something beyond
Developing a mission statement is the best way to keep the end or
destination in mind. Leaders who cast light have a clear sense of
hope to accomplish and seek to achieve worthwhile goals. For
Abraham Lincoln was out to preserve the union, Nelson Mandela wanted
abolish apartheid, and Mother Teresa devoted her whole life to
Author of Jesus, CEO, Laurie Beth Jones
believes that useful mission
statements are short, easily understood and communicated, and
memory. Developing a personal mission statement according to Jones
with personal assessment. Juana Bordas, Leadership Consultant
Bordas identifies nine cairns for creating personal purpose.
Call your purpose, listen for guidance
Find a sacred place
See time as continuous begin with the child and move with the
Identify special skills and talents; accept imperfections
Trust your intuition
Open the door when opportunity knocks
Find your passion and make it happen
Write your life story
Honor your legacy, one step at a time
A mission statement is not complete without a set of values to serve
moral compass to guide us on our journey. Values most notably
values provide a frame of reference, helping us set priorities and
right or wrong.
Leaders sometimes make values the end-all of ethical decision
Values to be effective have to be translated into action. Having an
destination will encourage leaders as well as followers to stay on
ethical track. Developing a personal mission statement that reflects
strengths or the strength of your organization will release true
Multiply Abuse Children
Save the Children is a non-profit group that pushes for tougher laws
those who sexually abuse children. Currently, Save the Kids is in
lobbying effort ever in an attempt to get the state legislature to
pass a law
that requires convicted sex offenders to register their whereabouts
The organizations founder, Steve Hansen, is convinced that such a
significantly reduce the number of child abuse cases in the state.
Unfortunately, contributions aren't keeping up with expenses and
Kids may have to drastically reduce its lobbying efforts just as the
offender registration bill comes before the legislature. Chances
are, this law
will pass only if Save the Kids keeps up its lobbying campaign. Mr.
is now raising money for Save the Kids through a series of speeches.
encourage contributions, Hanson knowingly exaggerates both the
convicted sex offenders in the state as well as the number of
are abused every year.
Does it matter that Hanson knowingly exaggerates the numbers? Does
degree to which he exaggerates matter? These are all ethical
Hanson rationalizes that it his actions are for a good cause. Is he
behavior happens all the time, but is it ok?
Recommendations & Conclusions:
"Ethics, "Values" how do we integrate these into our organization?
do we endeavor to ask our employees to adopt our values? These are
challenges every leader faces.
Ethics has everything to do with management. Rarely do the character
of a lone actor fully explain corporate misconduct. More typically,
business practice involves the cooperation of others and reflects
attitudes, beliefs, language, and behavioral patterns that define an
organization's operating culture. Ethics, then, is as much an
as a person issue. Managers who fail to provide proper leadership
institute systems that facilitate ethical conduct share
those who conceive, execute, and knowingly benefit from corporate
misdeeds. (Harvard business professor Lynn Sharp Paine)
Forming and maintaining a positive ethical climate is one of the
important responsibilities we assume when we take on a leadership
an organization. All members help share the collective ethical
but leaders exert the most influence. Followers will look to leaders
guidance. They'll want answers to such questions as these: "What
to those who break the rules?" "What's most important, making a
doing the right thing?'
Assuming that shaping the climate is easy is a falsity. Leaders are
likely to be corrupted by the existing moral atmosphere as
a blind eye to questionable practices because
"it has always been done that
Highly ethical organizations act with integrity (ethical soundness,
wholeness, consistency). All units and organizational levels share a
commitment to high moral standards, backing up their ethical "talk"
their ethical "walk." According to business ethicist Lynn Sharp
managers who act with integrity see ethics as a driving force of an
enterprise." These leaders recognize that ethical values largely
an organization is and what it hopes to accomplish. They keep these
in mind when making routine decisions.
Paine believes that any effort to improve organizational integrity
include the following elements:
Sensible, clearly communicated values and commitments
Company leaders who are committed to and act on their values
The values are part of the routine decision-making process and are
factored into every important organizational activity
Systems and structures support and reinforce organizational
Leaders throughout the organization have the knowledge and skills
they need to make ethical decisions
As we review the subject of Values & Ethics within an organization,
paper clearly points out and has proven that an organizations values
from the leaders and the leadership that the organization has set in
Policy guidelines are the written code of behavior as well as
the organization. But, it is the leaders and managers that model the
values and ethics of the organization for their staff and followers.
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